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Institutionalization of Business Improvement Districts: A Longitudinal Study of the State Laws in the United States

PAQ, Vol. 37 No. 2, (2013)

The institutionalization of business improvement districts (BIDs) is investigated with analyses of the state enabling laws in the United States. The results indicate that no distinct institutional BID form has emerged yet, but there is a process of institutionalization. This process can be observed in the names used for BIDs in the laws, their governing models and the methods of determining their board membership. The name “improvement district” has been used with an increasing frequency in the laws. Of the three BID governing models—subunits of local governments, autonomous public authorities, and nonprofit corporations—the last has been adopted more frequently in recent decades. The governing bodies of BIDs may be appointed or elected, but the elected board model was adopted more frequently in recent decades.

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